Remodeling my kitchen with new cabinet doors

So you are thinking about a new look for your kitchen.  Some people take the simplest approach and just replace cabinet handles and knobs with something new.  Some may just paint their kitchen cabinets.  And if you do take that route, make sure you use a quality brand enamel that will withstand some light scuffing over the years.  And prep your doors and cabinets properly for good adhesion for the paint.

Custom kitchen cabinet doorsAnd then there will be some who really remodel.  New cabinet doors and drawer fronts, possibly a new appliance or all new appliances, new countertop surfaces, and maybe adding on to some of the cabinetry.  Eclectic-ware has solutions for many of your kitchen and bathroom remodeling needs.  And one of the big solutions, is custom made cabinet doors.  By far the best way to give an existing kitchen a great facelift is replacing all the cabinet doors and drawer fronts, and refacing the cabinets.  For cabinet boxes that are solid and strong, there is no need to rip them out and start with all new cabinets.  That’s what a total redesign would be, or if you were building a house and were starting fresh with new cabinets.  If you are not planning a total redesign, which is what 80% or more people avoid doing, then just REFACE.

There are a few ways to proceed with refacing your cabinets.  And ultimately, it depends upon which doors and drawer fronts you choose.  Make up your mind on that first, then tackle the prep work on your cabinet boxes.  If you wish to order prefinished wood doors as in the picture just shown above, you can also get self-adhesive veneer and cut to size plywood to reface your cabinets.  The veneer and plywood, when ordered with the doors and drawer fronts, will be finished at the same time with the same stain lot.  So you will have matching pieces.  Veneer is something you cut to size yourself as you are applying it, generally for face frame cabinets and “smaller” areas.  For larger areas such as the side walls of end cabinets, it is advised to use 1/4″ plywood for refacing.  It is stronger, has less chance of bubbling if air is caught underneath when applying it, and it can cover any minor or majorWoodmont Doors installation instructions blemishes in an existing cabinet.  You would choose to apply all your plywood refacing first as it will increase the end size of your cabinets, then go over those edges with the veneer as being a small extension of your front face frame.  If you have frameless cabinets, also called Euro-box, you most likely would not go through the effort of refacing the front edges of them as your doors will typically cover them up completely.  We have definitions and illustrations of face frame and frameless cabinets in the Woodmont Doors section of our web site.

Adding veneer and plywood is one way to reface.  And both, as well as the wood doors can be ordered prefinished in one of Woodmont’s offered wood stains, or unfinished.  If you have a certain color you are going for and have your own stain, spray on or wipe on, then please, order everything unfinished and create that special color you are going for.  Wood choices are red oak, maple, cherry, and hickory.  All can come finished or unfinished.

Depending upon what your cabinet boxes are made from and how they look on the outside, you might have the option of sanding them down, removing all the old finish, and then clear coating them, staining them, or painting them.  If they are a nice woodgrain plywood box, and you want the natural beauty of wood to show, clear coating them is a nice option.  Minwax makes a Polyclear, which does not seem to alter the color of the wood.  On light woods, it will start to amber over time.  There are some products on the market that can stay clear over time, but most will tend to yellow as light reflects upon them over the years.  Now if staining your wood cabinets, you have hundreds of color choices in lacquers.  Actually millions of choices with custom lacquers, but we are not going to get that crazy today.  If you are not choosing to have a woodgrain look to your cabinets, and your plan is a solid paint color, the work you have to do to prep your existing boxes can be minimalized.  Paint for the most part can go over any surface.  But you want it to continue to adhere to that surface.  So you may not have to strip off the entire old finish when painting, BUT, you do want your surface to be sanded smooth, free of dents, and free of oil and debris.  Wood fillers can be used to cover over dents.  Sandpaper can take off most debris and oils.  Cleaning solvents are usually not needed.  It is definitely a good idea to always prime first, then use your top coat paint.  Some paints have a self primer and can save you time.  For light color paint covering darker wood, two coats of paint will most likely be necessary.  Enamel paints hold up better over time.  Semi-gloss paint are easier to clean than Satin or Flat paints.  Think through your paint choices, because once it is done – well, it could be done again, but who wants to spend that kind of time.  Doing it right once is always desired.

After you have finished refinishing your cabinets, you can hang your new doors, install drawer boxes if needed (we have those too), add the drawer fronts, and even included some accessories like slide out trash containers, blind corner shelves, and more.  If you were also installing a new countertop, you most certainly would want to install that before hanging any cabinet doors.  It would be advisable to install a countertop before refinishing your cabinets.  Why?  Potential damage.  The countertop is huge.  Big, clunky, heavy.  It needs maneuvering room to set it in place.  It entails someone climbing inside the cabinets to fasten it down.  There is a lot of room for error for someone scraping or kicking a cabinet face.  So if you are redoing the countertop, or laying new tile on the floor, don’t take chances with scratching up your new doors or the work you just did on your cabinets.

Remodeling your kitchen yourselfOnce your kitchen is finished with its new look, you will be amazed as to what a difference it makes.  Sometimes it feels like a whole new house.  Now we just briefly went over cabinet doors and drawer fronts and a few refacing options.  When updating your kitchen, you will want to plan a little under cabinet lighting.  Or even lighting in your cabinets behind glass front doors.  People do like to display some things in the kitchen … and hide others.  We have wine rack lattice and wood stemware holders.  Display your wine bottles and your glasses.  And we have appliance garages.  Hide your mixer or George Foreman grill.  We offer a ton of selections in cabinet handles and drawer pulls.  We have wood and Corian custom made switch plates.  There is so much that you can do in a kitchen remodel that you can be busy for a few months.  And doing it yourself is quite rewarding.  There are things like new countertops and flooring that you might not want to do yourself or are unable to do.  That is okay.  Take on however much of the project you want to do yourself.  We can answer questions about the products we offer and give some how to advice.  We are not just about selling products.  We get involved … but we don’t make house calls.  We can help you from our Florida location, and have done so for thousands of customers over the last 13 years.

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About John Wagonis

John Wagonis launched Eclectic-ware in December 2000. With over 18 years experience with cabinetry hardware, we can help our customers with new construction and remodeling applications. Our product lines include a lot of custom made hardware that you will not find in retail outlets. We sell to everyone, trade and DIY. Let us know how we can help.

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